In a previous entry, we had a look at linear interpolation and concluded that we should prefer some kind of smooth interpolation, maybe a polynomial.

However, we must use a polynomial of sufficient degree so that neighboring patches do not exhibit very different slopes on either side of known points. This pretty much rules out quadratic polynomials, because polynomials of the form are only capable of expressing (strictly) convex (or concave) patches. A quadratic piece-wise function would look something like: